Romeo’s Logan Jenuwine (91) moves past Clarkston’s Shawn Cotter (16) as Romeo’s Nick Blankenburg (26) follows the play during the second period of the OAA/MAC Hockey Showcase held at the Onyx Ice Arena in Rochester Hills. The Bulldogs and Wolves skated to a 3-3 tie. (For The Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Hockey - Boys
HOCKEY: Clarkston can't hold big lead, settles for tie with Romeo
Clarkston’s Roman Reiner (9) moves up ice past Romeo’s Matteo Mazur (24) during the third period of the OAA/MAC Hockey Showcase held at the Onyx Ice Arena in Rochester Hills. Clarkston and Romeo skated to a 3-3 tie. (For The Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Romeo Goalie Nick Santi makes a save on the shot from Clarkston’s Jacob LaPorte (21) during the third period of the OAA/MAC Hockey Showcase held at the Onyx Ice Arena in Rochester Hills. The Wolves and Bulldogs ended in a 3-3 tie. (For The Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Clarkston’s Eric Matynowski (7) is pressured behind the goal by Romeo’s Logan Jenuwine (91) and Blake Gabler (14) during the second period of the OAA/MAC Hockey Showcase held at the Onyx Ice Arena in Rochester Hills. Romeo and Clarkston skated to a 3-3 tie. (For The Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
Romeo’s Noah Ganfield (4) and Clarkston’s Chase Wiedemann (11) battle for the puck during the third period of the OAA/MAC Hockey Showcase held at the Onyx Ice Arena in Rochester Hills. The Wolves and Bulldogs ended in a 3-3 tie. (For The Oakland Press/KEN SWART)
ROCHESTER HILLS – The Romeo Bulldogs came from three goals down to forge a 3-3 tie with the Clarkston Wolves at the OAA-MAC Hockey Showcase on Saturday evening.
The game was really divided into two parts with Clarkston dominating the first part of the game, building a 3-0 lead by the 13:12 mark of the second period. The Wolves got the scoring started midway through the first period when Garrett Polish’s shot from the left circle hit a defenseman’s skate in front and went straight into the net.
It was the first of several strange bounces in the game as there was a lot of traffic in front of both nets all game long, and both goaltenders – Jack Viazanko of Clarkston and Nick Santi of Romeo – had to be sharp to deal with all the caroms and deflections in front of them.
“It’s two good hockey teams, and everybody’s filling lanes. It’s hard to get a clear shot, thing like that happen,” Bulldogs head coach John Minjoe said.
Both goaltenders were also pretty busy on the night with Viazanko making 28 saves and Santi stopping 29 shots.
Clarkston would add to their lead late in the first period on a power play goal by Kyle Cuthrell, then stretch it to 3-0 early in the second period when Kamren Huizenga got a rare clean look on the night and popped a quick shot into the top corner on the short side.
“We were pretty much controlling the play, but then we just fell apart,” Wolves head coach Bryan Krygier said.
It started just 14 seconds later, Blake Gabler’s wrister from the neutral zone unexpectedly found the top corner and from then on, Romeo seemed to take control. “It deflated the team, and we couldn’t dig ourselves out of the hole,” Krygier said. “If we don’t come and beat them to the puck, that team’s going to beat you. And they beat us to the puck from the middle of the second period, all the way through the third.”
Buoyed by a dangerous power play that registered 16 shots on the night, the Bulldogs were able to dominate the last half of the game, but especially the second period as they charged back to earn the tie with Mitch Pacitti getting each of the last two goals for Romeo.
“We’ve tweaked the power play the last two weeks, and both units are starting to look real sharp out there,” Minjoe said.
Pacitti made it 3-2 with 5:52 to play in the second period when he scored on an odd man rush, then tied the game midway through the third when he pounced on a rebound in the slot during a power play to complete the comeback.
“I think our boys showed some good resiliency today. They weathered a very rough start where some things didn’t go our way,” Minjoe said. “That was a team game,” he said of the comeback effort.
Romeo will now carry a 13-2-2 record into Sunday’s game against Macomb Dakota at Clark Park.
Next up for Clarkston (12-6-2) is the Public School Showcase in Chelsea where the Wolves will take on Reeths-Puffer on Thursday.